In Being Grounded and Settled

I finished a train-the-trainer programme yesterday and was given the valuable feedback by a peer coach/facilitator to take time to be grounded before speaking. Getting over my initial surprise and rapid thoughts below…

  • Was I not grounded?
  • How could she tell?
  • Could everyone tell?
  • How did I not know?
  • This is just due to my cough and cold, blocked nose and nasaled voice…
  • But, I am not usually like this!

See how quickly my mind goes into denial and defence…clearly, I know in my heart that I wasn’t grounded.

I’m once again reminded of how many like to quote the 7% Rule by Mehrabian and Ferris who coined the 55/38/7 formula in 1967. The Rule says all communication is only 7 percent verbal, 55 percent of information delivered was determined to be through body language and 38 percent through the tone of voice. Personally, I take the findings with a pinch of salt and recognize that any lab research is highly influenced by the set-up and boundaries, therefore likely improbable in real life.

Numbers aside, I agree that a lot of communication lies in the body language, tonality and held intentions; beyond that of choice of words and content. We spend time practicing the content and words, even how these look on paper and slides… but less on the delivery. Before the delivery comes grounding, which is also known as settling into the space. Benefits of grounding include feeling quieter and more relaxed and we will be able to respond calmly and fluidly from this state. Often, our grounded state also enables those around us to start to seem more settled and receptive.

So how do we get grounded?

I can only offer what I usually practice (and clearly didn’t use yesterday) –

  1. Whether sitting or standing, I take a moment to feel my feet rooted on the floor
  2. When sitting cross-legged on chairs, I take the time to feel myself supported by the chair, which in turn is supported by the ground
  3. Uplift and lengthen my spine, roll back my shoulders
  4. Long exhale down the front, thinking of a favourite memory (mine is of 2 weeks young Erin being set up for passport photo taking)
  5. Expand and settle into the space around me
  6. I now have support from the earth below me and the space around me
  7. Set my positive intention for the task at hand
  8. Smile and breathe naturally into it…
  9. …and do all the above steps in 30 seconds.


Here is my reminder to self – 30 seconds is all it takes to become grounded.

Empowering Youth: A Workshop on Emotional Intelligence